Iberia pilots strike prompts another wave of flight cancellations

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Published: April 9, 2012

Iberia A340-600. By Rob Finlayson

Iberia (IB) cancelled some 150 flights Monday and planned to cancel more April 13 and 16 as its pilots began another series of one-day strikes to protest the creation of low-cost carrier Iberia Express (I2).

Pilots union Sepla said jobs will be lost when IB aircraft are transferred to I2. In March, Sepla said pilots would walk out every Monday and Friday between April 9 and July 20 ( ATW Daily News, March 29 ).

Spanish carrier IB, which is owned by British Airways’ parent International Airlines Group, launched I2 as a standalone airline with newly hired crew and no legacy working practices or expensive seniority structures. I2 began operations March 25 from its base at Madrid Barajas airport with four Airbus A320s flying domestic routes to Palma de Majorca, Alicante, Malaga and Seville ( ATW Daily News, March 26 ).

IB is seeking court intervention to prevent future strikes and get compensation for past action. According to Reuters, IB estimates the April strikes will cost the carrier €3 million ($ 3.9 million) per day.

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